News Corporation's Digital Dilemma

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR210
Case Length : 14 Pages
Pages Period : 1999-2006
Organization : News Corporation Limited
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Australia, US
Themes : Business Environment
Industry : Media, Entertainment, and Gaming

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Murdoch was slow to move again, after 2000, when the Internet was beginning to pose a threat to television and newspapers by capturing advertising revenues and the younger audience, Murdoch waited till the end of 2004 thinking this was yet another bubble.

However, with more and more advertisers, audience and competitors going to the Internet, it was emerging as a strong media channel and Murdoch decided to focus on it in a big way. In February 2005, Murdoch held a meeting with his executives to discuss the company's Internet strategy. 

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Later, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April 2005, he commented on how newspapers had been complacent in spite of the rising threat from the Internet, "As an industry, most of us have been remarkably, unaccountably complacent. Certainly, I didn't do as much as I should have after all the excitement of the late 1990s. I suspect many of you in this room did the same, quietly hoping that this thing called the digital revolution would just limp away. Well it hasn' won't.....and it's a fast-developing reality we should grasp as a huge opportunity to improve our journalism and expand our reach."7

Well it hasn' won't.....and it's a fast-developing reality we should grasp as a huge opportunity to improve our journalism and expand our reach." The Internet world threw up many challenges to a company like News Corp. The primary challenge was that the Internet had itself become a medium and a means of distribution of media content, and this would affect News Corp's newspaper business.

Another challenge was deciding on the best possible product portfolio in the wake of rapid digitization. The growth of the Internet would also pose a serious threat to the company's film and television businesses in the form of digital piracy and loss of advertising revenues.

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7] "News Corp.'s Murdoch: Newspapers Must Embrace Internet,", April 13, 2005.


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